Your employees are like family. They’ve been there through the good and maybe not-as-good years, you’ve celebrated personal and professional milestones together, and you trust them to help run your business. You would never think that they would be capable of stealing. But with 75% of employees admitting to stealing from their employers, it is likely happening to you.
Unfortunately, employee theft is on the rise. According to a recent report, U.S. businesses lose $60 billion (yes, that’s BILLION with a B) a year to shrinkage, with employee theft identified as the single biggest cause. That’s equivalent to 7% of annual revenue – 7%! What would you do with an extra 7% added back to your bottom line?
This isn’t to say that all employees are bad and steal. Instead, it’s to bring awareness that theft happens, and it is happening at your expense. Check out the list below for 4 common ways your employees are stealing from you.
THEFT OF TIME
There are hundreds of different ways employees can steal time. Coming in late, taking excessive or longer breaks, falsifying timesheets, spending too much time on social media or taking personal phone calls. While many employers have come to accept this, theft of time is just as costly as theft of merchandise.
Be especially aware of ‘Buddy Punching’. A common form of time theft where employees will clock in for someone who may be running late, or clock out for someone to give them extra time.
THEFT OF PRODUCTS
Stealing products is not only common but the way they are being stolen is getting creative. During the day an employee takes the trash out to the dumpster. This doesn’t seem out of the ordinary because it is a daily task. Fast forward to later that night, and the employee comes back to the store and grabs the bag of trash out of the dumpster. But why would they want that trash? Because it’s actually a bag filled with new, expensive merchandise that was disguised as trash to sneak it out of the building. While it may sound extreme, this form of theft is preferred because it is discreet and usually reaps big benefits for the thief.
Some forms of product theft are not as extreme, for example not charging a customer for a drink with their meal, or not scanning all of the merchandise brought to the register but putting it all into the customer’s bag.
It’s also possible that employees aren’t stealing products, but are stealing supplies. Office supplies are a necessary cost of doing business. However, when employees think the supply closet is for their own personal use, the cost of doing business increases.